Saturday, October 29, 2011

Happy Birthday, Sammy!

Dear Sammy,

We celebrated your 3rd birthday yesterday, not quite in the fashion that we had planned. Your brother ended up with a 103 fever so we had to call off the picnic to Alum Rock park that we had organized. But, true to form, you never complained. Your daddy sure did enjoy getting to spend the morning with you at Chuck-E-Cheese and Caedmon & I were happy to get to participate in the family birthday party we had around our kitchen table. You said in your precious little voice, "My bert-day. I like it." You are the happiest, most playful child I have ever known. 

As I think back over this past year, I am astounded by how much has changed since we celebrated your 2nd birthday. This time last year, you were so scared and unsure of your surroundings. You never wanted to be farther than a few feet from me or Daddy. Back then, you cried about as much as you laugh now, and you laughed about as much as you cry now. The tables have turned.

The timidity that held you captive has been replaced by confidence and boldness. No more peeling you off me like a monkey when it's time to go to BayKids on Sunday. Now you typically run ahead of me to get there and march in with a swagger like you own the place. Not a week goes by without one of the BayKids' volunteers telling me what a fun and adorable kid you are. It seems that you have captured more hearts than just mine.

Sammy, last year at this time I was in a world of mess with my emotions. I was sleep deprived, being followed everywhere by a screaming two year old, and pouring out my life for a child that I felt I didn't know but who, strangely, belonged to me. I was grieving my own set of losses as our family was catapulted from a relatively peaceful and well-adjusted family of 3 to a chaotic tailspinning family of 4. There were so many nights that I cried myself to sleep, wondering if I would ever feel like your mother...If I would ever love you the way you deserve to be loved. I knew in my mind that you were so precious to God and that you were handpicked for our family, but it felt like I was trying to love a stranger, a stranger that didn't like me very much most of the time.

I've now had over 14 months to get to know you and we are building a wealth of memories together. I now know that you have a big appetite at dinner but barely pick at your breakfast. I know having something to dip it in always makes food more enticing. I know that you have boundless energy, running and hopping your way through life. I know it makes you mad when I pick out your hair. And I know it takes much less discipline to break your tender heart than it does Caedmon's. It is hard to remember what life was like before you were in our family. Having you feels so natural now, and the thought of you not being in our family feels so horribly unnatural. You are my child. I feel it so deeply in my bones now.

It fills up my heart to overflowing when you lay on my chest with your arms and legs wrapped tightly around my body. Sometimes you'll lay like that 10 or 15 minutes and it causes your daddy and me think that you're making up for lost time.

It is a beautiful thing to watch love grow. What began as our dream to love you turned into our decision to love you, not just with words but with actions (even in the moments that feelings were hard to come by). And that decision, lived out day in and day out in faithfulness to God and to our commitment to you, has given room for the roots of love to go down deep, blossoming into a life-giving relationship. I hope that you never doubt how deeply you are loved. Loving you is not an obligation. It is not something I do because I signed some paperwork. I couldn't keep myself from loving you if I tried. You are a part of me.

Sammy, your courage and resiliance in overcoming hardship will take you places that few people are able to tarry. No one wants their life to be marked with pain and difficulties, and the fear that it will holds many back from living their most courageous life. I pray that one day you will look back at all the things you overcame the first 3 years of your life and it will inspire you to live boldly, knowing that God has given you strength and resilience to face the most challenging of circumstances. You are an overcomer.

Thank you for greeting me each morning with that mischievous grin and a few quick Tigger jumps. Thank you for confidently believing that everyone thinks you are as funny and as adorable as YOU believe yourself to be. Thank you for forgiving me and giving me me another chance to love you when I have not loved you as I should. Thank you for the laughter and playfulness that you bring to the mundane and monotony of life.

I am so, indescribably thankful for the gift of you. Happy 3rd Birthday, my precious Son. You are loved beyond words.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday Sammy! What a precious letter Stacie. Where are the pictures? You know how I love pictures! :) Hope you all have a great weekend, Lisa